Looking to eat, drink and enjoy the best that this colorful season has to offer? Consider bringing the kids to one of the region’s many fall harvest festivals, where the apple cider will be flowing and the options for family entertainment will be endless. Read on for seven local harvest festivals worth the trip.

Caramel Apple

photo: Mt. Hood Territory via Flickr creative commons

Bauman’s Farm & Garden Harvest Festival
If your kids have their hearts set on a wide variety of festival activities, make your first stop at Bauman’s Farm & Garden in Gervais. The hayride, animal barn, cider tasting, barnyard bridge, corn tunnels, frontier fort, gopher hole, playground and tire pyramid are all included in the price of general admission—yet they’re only a portion of the family fun to be had. For only a few dollars more in activity tickets, your kids will spend the day exploring the dark maze, corn maze, kids zone and so much more.

Bauman’s Farm & Garden Harvest Festival
Sept. 26-Oct. 31, Sat. & Sun. only, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. on Sat., 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sun.
Tickets: $5/person; $15/admission with unlimited activity wristband
Bauman’s Farm & Garden
12989 Howell Prairie Rd. NE
Gervais, Or
Online: baumanfarms.com/pumpkin-weekend-activities.aspx

Cedar Mill Cider Festival
Celebrating its ninth year, the Cedar Mill Cider Festival is something of a trip back in time. As the Lauren Sheehan String Band performs folk, bluegrass and other old-time music, Boy Scout Troop 208 will serve free fresh apple cider, hand-cranked from antique presses. Kids can enjoy games, activities and pioneer coloring pages with the Tualatin Hills Parks and Recreation District, while adults can peruse the country store and sample the pulled pork goodness of Da Fat Boyz’ sandwiches and nachos.

Cedar Mill Cider Festival
Oct. 18, 1-4 p.m.
Free admission
John Quincy Adams Young House
12050 NW Cornell Rd.
Beaverton, Or
Online: cedarmill.org/ciderfestival

Carriage Ridephoto: Mt. Hood Territory via Flickr creative commons

Hood River Valley Harvest Fest
As if Portland families needed another reason to love Hood River, this outdoor wonderland is the site of the biggest fall festival in the Columbia River Gorge. For three days in October, attendees at the Hood River Valley Harvest Fest will enjoy live music, family activities, seasonal produce, food, wine, cider, beer and local arts & crafts from nearly 125 vendors on the scenic Hood River waterfront.

Hood River Valley Harvest Fest
Oct. 16, 1-6 p.m., Oct. 17, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Oct. 18, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Tickets: $6/adults; $3/seniors & active military on Fri., $5 on Sat. & Sun.; free for children under 12
Hood River Event Site
110 Portway Ave.
Hood River, Or
Online: hoodriver.org/events-festivals/chamber-events/harvest-festival

PJ Library Harvest Festival
As Jewish families in Portland celebrate the upcoming High Holy Days, they can also educate their children about the holiday of Sukkot at a harvest festival hosted by the PJ Library. This one-day celebration at Bella Organic Farm will feature music, storytelling, gourd-decorating and plenty of information about hunger and sustainability issues. RSVP here for you and your family.

PJ Library Harvest Festival
Sept. 27, 1-2:30 p.m.
Free admission
Bella Organic Farm
16205 NW Gillihan Rd.
Portland, Or
Online: jewishportland.org/harvest

Portland Nursery Apple Tasting
A favorite of gardeners and green thumbs for nearly a century, the Portland Nursery will celebrate the season with its annual apple tasting at the Laurelhurst location. For six days this fall, visitors will be treated to as many as 60 varieties of apples and pears to taste and purchase—not to mention cider demonstrations, music performances, a scarecrow contest, specialty food vendors and a variety of children’s activities.

Portland Nursery Apple Tasting
Oct. 9-11 & Oct. 16-18, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Free admission
Portland Nursery
5050 SE Stark St.
Portland, Or
Online: portlandnursery.com/events/appletasting.shtml

Pumpkin Patch

photo: Mt. Hood Territory via Flickr creative commons

West Coast Giant Pumpkin Regatta
There are few fall harvest events more entertaining than a race between your friends and neighbors as they attempt to paddle giant pumpkins across a lake. Sound like fun? Be sure to drop by the 12th annual West Coast Giant Pumpkin Regatta in Tualatin, where regatta-goers will also be treated to a performance by the Tualatin High School Marching Band, a hilarious circus act by Heather Pearl, a visit from llamas Smokey and Rojo and arts, crafts and food vendors galore.

West Coast Giant Pumpkin Regatta
Oct. 17, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Free admission
Tualatin Lake of the Commons
8325 SW Nyberg St.
Tualatin, Or
Online: tualatinoregon.gov/recreation/west-coast-giant-pumpkin-regatta-official-page

Wooden Shoe Pumpkin Fest
The Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm is perhaps best known for its namesake bulbs, but this local institution is also an ideal destination at harvest time. Not only can you load up on pumpkins at the Wooden Shoe Pumpkin Fest, you and your family can enjoy a corn maze, a pumpkin cannon, duck races, tube slides, a hay pile and various activity tents for all ages and interests.

Wooden Shoe Pumpkin Fest
Sept. 25-Oct. 31, Fri.-Sun. only, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Tickets: $7/ages 3 & up; $5/seniors; free for children 2 & under
Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm
33814 S. Meridian Rd.
Woodburn, Or
Online: woodenshoe.com/events/pumpkin-fest

What are your plans for the fall harvest? Let us know in the comments below!

— Maura O’Brien